OTA testing
5 min

Harnessing the Power of OTA Testing

A Deep Dive into Over-the-Air Testing

Date: 05 Dec 2023


In our increasingly connected world, wireless devices have become ever-present, and we expect seamless connectivity. Whether it's your smartphone, IoT gadgets, or the latest smart home devices, we rely on them to perform flawlessly in diverse wireless environments. Enter Over-the-Air (OTA) testing, an invaluable process that ensures the reliability and performance of these wireless technologies. 

What is OTA Testing? 

OTA testing is a specialised testing method that evaluates the performance of wireless communication devices without the constraints of wired connections. Unlike traditional testing approaches that involve cables with a direct connection to the device under test, OTA testing mimics real-world usage scenarios, enabling a real use assessment of a device's wireless capabilities. 

Why OTA Testing Matters 

OTA testing is vital for several reasons: 

  • User Experience: It ensures that wireless devices deliver the intended user experience with reliable connectivity and high performance. 
  • Compliance: OTA testing helps manufacturers meet industry-specific standards and regulatory requirements ensuring their products can be legally sold and used. 
  • Product Quality: Manufacturers can identify and rectify issues related to signal quality, antenna design, and interference, leading to more reliable and robust wireless products.

With OTA testing now a regulatory requirement within the Radio Equipment Directive 2014/53/EU under Article 3.2, manufacturers require the RF performance of their products to meet the highest regulatory or industry standards. 

The Core Aspects of OTA Testing Offered by TÜV SÜD  

  • Wireless Connectivity Evaluation: OTA testing can be used to assess parameters such as signal strength, signal quality, and data transfer rates to assess how well a device can transmit and receive signals wirelessly. 
  • Antenna Performance: Measurement of an antenna’s gain and efficiency provides both designers and network operators with the information needed when planning for in service operation. Having a well-matched, efficient antenna can make a tangible difference in operating range and battery life which contribute to a better user experience. 
  • Radiated Emissions: OTA testing checks if the device complies with regulatory limits for electromagnetic radiation ensuring it doesn't interfere with other wireless communication systems.
  • Compliance with Standards: It ensures that devices adhere to industry-specific standards and regulatory requirements set by organisations like the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States or the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) in Europe. 


As we continue to rely on wireless technologies for our everyday needs, OTA testing provides insights into a device’s ability to reliably operate and deliver the required performance in today’s highly used radio frequency environment. OTA testing provides a crucial step in the development and certification of wireless devices enabling us to stay seamlessly connected in an ever-evolving digital landscape. OTA testing is not just about meeting regulatory requirements; it's about delivering the best possible user experience. So, the next time you use your smartphone, IoT device, or any wireless gadget, it’s highly likely that its performance has been tuned and tested using an OTA chamber. 

Want to learn more about how TÜV SÜD’s OTA testing service can help you get your product to market? Please visit out OTA testing web page.

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